Designing Music NOW

Dedicated to the Craft of Creating Music for Video Games and Interactive Media

How Commercial Sample Libraries are Made

How Commercial Sample Libraries are Made

If you are a  composer or producer that uses a computer in their productions, odds are you have at least a sample library or two. From soaring orchestral strings, to exotic world instruments, pianos, drums or guitars, sample libraries cover a stunning range of...

Composer Interview: Gareth Coker (Ark, Ori and the Blind Forest, and Minecraft)

Composer Interview: Gareth Coker (Ark, Ori and the Blind Forest, and Minecraft)

Award winning composer Gareth Coker has composed for a diverse array of projects, including Moon Studios’ acclaimed Ori and the Blind Forest, Insomniac’s virtual reality game The Unspoken, and Minecraft: Chinese Mythology & Minecraft: Greek Mythology (Mojang). For his latest musical journey and collaboration with Studio Wildcard on ARK: Survival Evolved, the definitive open-world dinosaur survival-adventure game, Coker recorded an epic orchestral score with the 93-piece Philharmonia Orchestra at the world famous Abbey Road Studios. The soundtrack for ARK is available now from Sumthing Else Music Works. Read Gareth’s full bio at the end of this article.

Sheet Music: The Map To Your Score

Sheet Music: The Map To Your Score

Not every score will need to be written down as sheet music before it’s recorded. However, if you’re hiring musicians those players almost always need something written down for them. Scoring for media is very particular and the parts for live players are usually...

Studio Time with JunkieXL – Season 2 Tutorial Episodes

Studio Time with JunkieXL – Season 2 Tutorial Episodes

Introduction Designing Music NOW is honored to be bringing you Season 2 of JunkieXL’s online tutorial series, Studio Time.  Thanks so much to Tom Holkenborg (JunkieXL) for sharing his immense knowledge and experience. Season 2, Episode 1 – Composing for...

Team Building in an Indie World

Team Building in an Indie World

The traditional division of labor in the scoring process has eroded completely. Composers used to be one player in a fairly large music team. They put notes on paper, attended recording sessions, and bore few other responsibilities. As our industry has evolved our responsibilities have steadily increased. Today’s composer is responsible for every step of the music team’s process, and very often a lone guerrilla composer replaces the entire team of yesteryear. The support network which used to be built-in has evaporated.

We don’t have the luxury of being specialists any more. As scoring budgets shrink, our responsibilities move towards infinity. Today we must have a thorough balance of artistry, craft, and business, wearing all of the hats and managing many disparate tasks single-handedly. We are expected to own and operate our own studios and do a huge number of other tasks not expected of us ten or twenty years ago. We’re not composers, we’re the CEOs of small music businesses and we’re responsible for every aspect of music production.